One-on-One with Brad Jones

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Throughout the season spurs.com will celebrate the Spurs 40th Anniversary by visiting with former players, coaches and front office staff to discuss their experiences with the organization and the city of San Antonio.
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Utah Jazz assistant coach Brad Jones spent two seasons as the head coach of the Austin Toros from 2010-12. He led the Toros to the 2011-12 D-League Championship and had an overall record of 55-45 in Austin. Jones took some time after Utah’s practice before their matchup against the Spurs on March 22 to speak with spurs.com.

On his time with the Spurs as a player and a coach:
“I was there for two years. For me personally, as far as a growth as a coach, I learned the understanding of how to use the D-League to grow players through player development. It was a fabulous two years for me. The standard set by the Spurs of what they expect out of their D-League team really helped me grow as a coach. Austin itself, I love Austin. It’s a great market. It was fun. It was a really good two years. When I‘m done coaching, I’ll look back and say that was a pivotal time in my coaching career.”

On the relationship between the Toros and the Spurs:
“When I interviewed, they (the Spurs) have a mission of what they expect to get out of the Toros. It’s a very unique process. It was a little bit of getting to know me, but more of here is our mission and this is what we expect. It’s about adding value to the Spurs, whatever it may be. It wasn’t all wins and losses. We obviously had a lot of wins that last year and won a championship. We worked on certain things the coaching staff wanted to see in a situation that they didn’t have to time to practice. We had rehab assignments and then player development. We had a lot of their young guys, Cory Joseph, who is starting against us, which is kind of ironic. We were intertwined and we were very well connected. They had a very clear message of what they wanted.”

On the proximity of the Toros to the Spurs:
“The identity we had being in proximity of the Spurs, we had the same branding and the same feel of what the Spurs are. It really helped our organization as far as our players. We were close enough to the market and got a feel of what the Spurs family is all about. Being 80 miles away, we practiced some at the practice facility. One thing from our (coaching) point of view, it allowed our players to be seen in front of arguably the best coaching staff in the world right now. It also showed the staff a little bit of the DNA and the fiber of what we were about up there in Austin. The first time we practiced in San Antonio, the Spurs didn’t get in till three a.m. and we practiced at 10. All of the coaches were there to watch us for an hour-and-half practice. It’s pretty impressive. It speaks to who they are as a staff and organization. In my opinion, it helped us that much more for them to know what we are about. They feel more comfortable sending the guys down.”

On his favorite spots in South Texas:
“I love the vibe of the Riverwalk. I never lived in San Antonio, but it’s a cool, clean, good-fun atmosphere. I have my family on this trip and we’re doing the boat tour after practice. I think that’s part of the uniqueness of the Riverwalk.”

Of f the court in Austin:
“I love the beauty of Austin with all the hills and the hiking. My favorite restaurant up there is the Iguana Grill. You can eat on the patio that overlooks Lake Travis and is 500 feet above it. That was one of my favorite things to do there. It’s a wonderful area. I’d be happy to come back here in a heartbeat. I really enjoyed the people of Austin.”